I got sucked back into the` Whole Foods vortex for a bit for various reasons, but I am committed to breaking out. I need somewhere with good produce, decent prices and a fairly wide selection.
If it was closer, the Market Basket in Waltham would by my go to for big shoppings (as my mother used to call them). However that MB is not convenient to Cambridge and the one in Somerville just doesn’t measure up. I’ve not tried the Chelsea location, but it might be a bit closer than Waltham.
If I have time I’ll often hit the Wegman’s in Medford.
H-Mart in Central Square is pretty good but does not have everything I need, though I am trying to adapt and cook more with their ingredients and expand what we eat through that. Their produce is surprisingly fresh and reasonably priced.
I’m not a Trader Joe’s person. It’s fine for specialty items, but their offerings don’t overlap with what I’m looking for and their produce prioritizes price over quality IMO.
I have neighbors who live on Roche Bros deliveries, but have not tried that.
With farmers markets winding down this need becomes even more acute. I don’t have time to run around to multiple specialty stores at this point. I do rely on Dulock for meat and still go to New Deal for fish (though I’d LOVE some fish market suggestions as well).
Russo’s for produce (wish they had a bigger organic section). For meat Savenor’s can be also quite good. Otherwise we mainly shop at WF but the quality has unfortunately clearly dropped since Amazon bought them
Agreed that Whole Foods has really gone down in quality and stopped carrying some things I buy. So I don’t shop there anymore.
Market Basket in Waltham, Burlington or Chelsea for big shoppings and Wilson Farm for produce. Easy to get to via route 2 if you are within easy reach of that.
Also…Clover is offering a winter roots CSA from winter moon farm, includes local dried beans and you can choose which Clover location you want as a pickup. Will be trying this for the first time this winter.
I’ll have to get back to Russos. I used to go there regularly but have gotten away from it for some reason. My schedule is not quite as flexible as in the past and it can be hell if not at the right time. Are the prices still very good?
Wilson Farm is somewhere I definitely stop if in the vicinity. During peak season it is great to be able to get a lot of the things grown directly there. I wish they’d expand their grocery selection just a bit.
I was just going to say that this new market, Brothers Market, was supposed to open. I used to work in the neighborhood so I know the Kendall/Cambridge area well. I think this will be a great addition.
I love the Somerville winter market! If I were closer, I would be there more often. I’ve taken the red line and bus to get there for a good winter market items and some of their bakery items.
@uni - Are you close to public transportation? The Roche Brothers in downtown Boston, isn’t that far off, but lugging groceries on the T definitely requires patience. I find their produce to be very fresh, and prices to be ok. They’re closer to Whole Foods pricing than the regular markets, because of this particular store’s location (my Roche Bros in Quincy is not as expensive) but I do like that they have a nice selection of prepared foods too.
Not a great option for price, but I do have to say I like going to Eataly’s market place when I want that special cut of meat, fish or even produce. Their produce section is small, but they can have a some produce you don’t easily find elsewhere, and quality is usually pretty good. Price is where this place is completely not friendly, so it’s not a good weekly shopping place - only when you don’t mind the splurge for something different. The same for the Boston Public Market.
Lastly, I actually like Costco for fruit. Yes, you have to buy in bulk, but I often find very good quality fruit, and even some not so easy to find fruit (meyer lemons!). Their produce is ok – not too exciting, but some bargains to be had if you don’t mind bulk buys again. I think there’s a Costco in Everett right by the casino.
Lastly, nothing exciting but the old Star Market on Sidney St used to be ok. It’s been a while, but I do recall it had an ok selection on produce. Nothing to write home about, and certainly not a destination market place in itself, but it’s probably going to be one of the best on value and pricing in the immediate area.
i live in Medford, and usually do the Union Sq. farmer’s market/Wegman’s double on Saturdays, though I’m fairly unenthusiastic about Wegman’s. In winter we’ll switch to going to the indoor farmer’s market in Somerville first. Every 2-3 weeks we change up and drive out to Burlington to do the H-Mart-Market Basket-Trader Joe’s combo, with a usual stop as well at Burlington Wine and Spirits which is a place that I think is one of the best area booze stores. That entails a little drive (~20 minutes or so) but it’s pleasant enough and having those four places so close together makes it worth the occasional road trip.
FWIW, the Chelsea market basket is pretty good and as an added bonus has wide aisles unlike pretty much every other Market Basket in existence.
I’m relatively close to the T, but definitely do not have this patience of which you speak. Carrying bags home from the H Mart in Central Square is about as aggressive as I will get. The Roche Brothers in DTX is pretty good and better than having nothing there, but I’d prefer a regular Roche Brothers. That concept, which I believe is the same thing that is opening in Kendall, has a narrower selection and higher prices.
I’ll grab certain things at Costco as well and the swing by Wegmans in Medford. Aldi’s is in between those 2 places as well which is good for produce and other things.
I shopped the Star in Central Square on occasion for convenience. It’s criminal that there is no longer a basic grocery store there for local residents. When that block was developed there was a requirement that a grocery store always be in that space. Star closed and the developer hired lawyers and PR people to make it look like they tried to fill the space. The Cambridge City council and mayor quickly acquiesced and really let the local residents down. I have elderly residents who relied on walking to that store. They now have to get to the Star on Beacon Street in Somerville somehow.
Thanks. I think I will check it out at some point.
Sad, did not realize that Star closed. A lot of students in that area, so I’m surprised. Well that stinks.
I just started using a small grocery cart this year and it’s made all the difference walking to and from with groceries. I don’t mean a big metal one that you catch a lot of grannies with (I have one of those too, so I say that with the utmost respect). I bought a smaller one that is part cooler and it rolls like luggage. It zips so it protects your bags from reason too. I love that thing and is perfect for shipping for 1, maybe 2. I tuck in an extra shopping bag for overflow. I rarely use the bigger cart unless i know I’m buying a big item. My back and shoulders are so much better now too.
We’ve been shopping there occasionally at Brother’s in their Waltham store. It’s nice, but smallish and somewhat limited. They do carry some breads from Bread Obsession, which we can’t get anywhere else, and their fish is absolutely fantastic. I wonder if the Kendall store will be on the same scale or larger?
That whole Central Sq Star Market fiasco still sticks in my craw. All the fancy development goes on but the real folks who live there don’t have anywhere reasonable to buy food. Grrr
When I used to work in CSq, I used to get supermarket sushi once in a while for lunch. Guilty pleasure, but there were some decent sushi cooks there.
For me, the big draw of Whole Foods is getting produce that is blissfully package-free. But even they still seem to offer mostly plastic-wrapped cauliflower for example. I go into other grocery stores, I get depressed seeing a mountain of produce wrapped in plastic. Wilson farm also has a bunch of non-wrapped produce but also has its share of wrapped veggies. Lex farm is usually my go-to but they usually shut down by late October early November.
I wasn’t quite sure where to post this, since it didn’t seem to need it’s own thread (although a specialty-market thread might not be a bad idea.)
Here’s a shout-out to the ravioli dough at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Somerville. I was craving homemade ravioli but didn’t have the time or inclination to make the dough from scratch, so I called Dave’s and asked them to reserve two lbs. of ravioli dough. The dough is more supple and pliable than the regular pasta dough (more water and maybe a touch of olive oil?) and was quite easy to use with my newish jumbo ravioli mold. I picked the dough up on Thursday to use Friday night and it was still moist. The cooked pasta had a nice bite to it, and the premade dough made ravioli doable on a Friday night after work. The last time I used their regular pasta dough, some of the dough cracked and in general it was trickier to work with, so I’ll definitely go with the ravioli dough in the future. It’s a good idea to call ahead because they don’t always have ravioli dough available.